Medicine versus Faith

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An American couple have been accused of denying their child medical treatment for religious reasons. The child is now dead. There is an online video of the child’s father’s mouth falling open when the judge reads out the charges. I’m not surprised he was surprised.

The Washington Post has a quote from the child’s alleged father:

‘“It didn’t seem smart to me that you would be saving people who weren’t the fittest. If evolution believes in survival of the fittest, well then why are we vaccinating everybody? Shouldn’t we just let the weak die off and let the strong survive?”

This is a perfectly reasonable position to take if you have managed to believe that after a person is dead they will continue to be alive – and if you also have no idea what you’re talking about. The problem is that ‘survival of the fittest’ has nothing to do with strength versus weakness. In this context ‘fittest’ means ‘best fit’ or ‘best suited to reproduce’. It is another way of saying ‘natural selection’ and has nothing to do with physical strength or weakness.

The child’s alleged father is also said to have little faith in doctors:

‘I’m not opposed to medicine or doctors, I’m opposed to bad medicine and doctors that are just, well, aren’t really doctors — they’re priesthoods of the medical cult. They have a certificate from some training camp somewhere that says they got this test score, but that doesn’t mean they know about the human body and stuff like that.’

It would probably have been bettere for the innocent child if this human had more faith in medicine and less in his god of choice.

I hope these terrible humans are given one of those proper American prison sentences; you know the sort of thing:

210 years in prison without possibility of parole – or something like that.

It’s time for a law stripping parents of the right to refuse their child treatment on religious grounds. If a child is ill all parents should be forced to seek medical attention and charged with violence against their child if they don’t or if they refuse to allow treatment for religious reasons.

I hope the pair of them are eaten from the inside by guilt and shame into old-age and death.

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A Minor Tour

A Minor Tour through some ‘interpretations’ of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’

 

‘People can misinterpret almost anything so that it coincides with views they already hold. They take from art what they already believe.’

  • Stanley Kubrick

 

‘It’s really all going on in his head – Jack’s head.’

 

  • Martin Scorsese

 

‘Interpretation’ is a word many use when they mean ‘imagination’. When somebody tells you that the first Friday the 13th is ‘a post-feminist reaction by the misogynist collective mind to the rise of women in the 1970s in the context of latent-homosexual self-loathing’ the qualifier ‘well, that’s my interpretation of it’ won’t be far behind. At least it better not. It’s possible the film in question isn’t a ‘post-feminist’ reaction, but rather the person claiming it is obsessed with feminism and misogyny and latent-homosexuality and therefore sees these things everywhere. Not only that, and I think more importantly, to refer to the movie in terms which are interpretative rather than imaginative allows the person to believe some intellectual process was going on in their heads: that their opinion is the conclusion to some real intellectual effort, not just a load of crap they’ve imagined into existence or the symptom of their underlying preoccupations. This sort of thing happens all the time. We’ve all heard someone say ‘well, that’s my interpretation’. Unless that person is translating a language, and arguing for a specific meaning as compared to another, I think it’s likely the person has just imagined that the movie is ‘about’ whatever they want it to be about. Some critics reveal nothing but their preoccupations. It is on this point that a few warnings about criticism present themselves.

Continue reading

Gender Jerks

I had no idea until yesterday the gender pronoun argument was a global phenomenon. I was reading a comment on a blog thread and the person mentioned a piece by Douglas Murray in the The Spectator about an interrogation a young teaching assistant was subjected to by faculty-staff at her university. The young lady recorded the Stasi Staff and sent the content around the world. I had thought it was a minor question, the reserve of attention-seekers.

It’s a global psychotic episode. Continue reading

Worse than Racist

Earlier this month, elsewhere online, I was following and sometimes entering a discussion about poppies. There had been a story or two about why celebrities or politicians were not wearing them, or were wearing them, and someone in one of the lefty papers typed a piece saying that poppies were racist now. Or something like that. I have one or two minor opinions about poppies and Armistice Day itself, so I joined the discussion.

I do not think it’s wrong to wear one, as some humans do, though I don’t see why anyone should be attacked for not doing so, either. It’s unimportant. But one person in the discussion said the following to someone who said he wouldn’t wear a poppy because the 1914 – 1918 war was ‘the most stupid thing this country ever got involved in [..]’

I quote his response to that exactly:

‘What might be your attitude toward the birthday of an illegitimate child, the result of his parents’ wrongdoing, but who bears no responsibility for either his existence or his condition?’

I was surprised that humans still manage to think like this. Only a significantly unpleasant and poorly informed mind could describe a child as ‘illegitimate’. But what kind of human mind is required to think a child whose parents were unmarried when he was born has for that reason a ‘condition’?

The idea of ‘bastardy’ is an example of religious bullying; religious bullying which tried to force parents to conform lest the ‘moral majority’ stigmatise their children as punishment for not conforming. Of course, those who choose to conform then become the most vicious in the name-calling themselves, because they hate themselves for being cowards, so most need to protest too much.

‘Illegitimacy’ and ‘bastardy’ do not exist and never have existed: they are to be found only in the warped imaginations of horrible, child-bullying humans. This is easily shown.

There is no blood test for ‘illegitimacy’, no biopsy a scientist can perform to detect traces of ‘bastardy’ in the blood. There is an irony at the expense of the religious bully. To have a ‘belief’ about the ‘illegitimacy’ of children, one which relies on the existence of a supernatural dimension, with a supreme supernatural being running things to make sense, means it’s the ‘belief’ which is illegitimate, not the flesh and blood child.

In point of fact, the person who manages to believe in ‘illegitimacy’ and ‘bastardy’ holds opinions which are demonstrably worse than racist. The argument is simple.

If the racist bully wants to bully a child, say because the child is black, then he can point his finger at the child and call it racist names so the child is in no doubt of its different status. If a man did do this – no matter how nasty and demented he’d have to be to want to do it – the child actually is black.

The religious bully does the same, but the reasons for which he does this do not exist in reality, they exist only in his horrible imagination. Therefore the religious bully is one step worse than the racist bully.

I kindly (and for free) pointed this out to the religious bully in question. He hasn’t responded yet.

A Jagged Edge

My mother told the A and E receptionist ‘He’s sustained a bad a cut.’ I leant in to the window and corrected her. ‘Actually, I’ve been stabbed,’ I said. It’s possible I sounded irritated, but I was speaking the truth. My sister had stabbed me in the upper left arm with a long, white-handled kitchen-knife. I had a small towel wrapped around the wound to soak up the blood. Continue reading

On the Wayne

Imagine going to Sainsbury’s or Tesco every week for years, handing over fifty quid each time, and those organisation never having what you’re looking for. The problem would only be with the supermarket for a ‘certain’ amount of time before ‘questions could be asked’ about the intelligence of the shopper. So on that note… Continue reading

A language Virus

What a man takes for granted, what he offers almost as an aside, is where you’ll find the things he thinks but doesn’t state openly. Then again, perhaps I’m reading too closely?

In his most recent Sunday column, Peter Hitchens writes that:

It is, beyond doubt, the case that our treatment of the mentally ill is a terrible mess. It is also beyond doubt that much mental illness appears to be linked to legal or illegal mind-altering drugs, now far more common than they were 30 years ago. This long predates the era of Islamic terror. One of the first cases was in 1992 when Jonathan Zito was stabbed to death by Christopher Clunis, a total stranger (and longstanding drug-abuser) who was severely mentally ill. This horror, oddly enough, took place at Finsbury Park.

How does a 1992 case of violence pre date ‘the era of Islamic terror’?

What ‘era’ is that?

On August 3 1989 Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh blew himself up in a hotel in Paddington, becoming the first ‘martyr’ in the plot to murder Salman Rushdie and anyone else involved in the hideous crime of publishing a novel.

In 1983 a truck stuffed with TNT was used by a group – called, oddly enough, ‘Islamic Jihad’ – to murder 241 US Marines in Beirut. Continue reading

Bad Grief

Certainly there is some rage against the idea of God, but the idea that theists are stupid because they’re theists is a stupid idea. Anyone who cares to could find out in about five seconds that there have been many theists who were frighteningly intelligent. There are many now. I don’t think belief in God is a question of intelligence to begin with, but I do think it’s a question of values. This isn’t a criticism. In the amusing documentary, Religulous, Bill Maher said to a few trucker-Christians that he considered atheism a luxury. He was right. Atheism is a luxury.

This is why atheism is a luxury: Continue reading

Very Tiny Tim

I used to be a red-meat-loving angry and intolerant atheist, whose favourite pastime – when not sucking marrow from the bones of dead babies – was munching on pork scratchings and slurping them down with a cold pint of chicken blood.

Things have changed.

Tim Farron has resigned. This seems to me to be evidence for the existence of God, and an answer – finally! – to the ‘problem of evil’.

Why does God allow evil to exist in the world when he has the power to do something about it? Well, now it seems God has finally taken action to reduce the evil in the world by removing Tim Farron from politics.
Continue reading

Choking on a Smile

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, was asked to clarify his views on homosexuality. Mr Farron, who says he’s a Christian, was asked if he thought homosexuality was a sin. He chose not to answer immediately, then did answer. This is how Christopher Hope put it:

‘Tim Farron has finally clarified his view on gay sex after admitted that it had come a distracting “issue” for his general election campaign. The Liberal Democrat leader said in a BBC interview that gay sex is not a sin, after five days of pressure to clarify his stance on the issue. Mr Farron had faced criticism for days for failing to answer questions about his position on homosexuality. Mr Farron refused to say four times in an interview with Channel 4 News last week whether he believed being gay was a sin.’

The most interesting story is missed.

Consider the debate between writers Andrew Sullivan and Douglas Wilson on the question of same-sex marriage. Douglas Wilson is significantly Christian. Andrew Sullivan claims to be a Catholic while being significantly homosexual.

In their debate it was asked of Wilson what his position would be if, for instance, his son told him he was gay. Sullivan – after Wilson offered the slippery ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ line, asked an odd question. (The question was odd because if Sullivan is a Christian, one wonders why he didn’t already know the answer to a question which relates directly to his own sexuality.)

He asked Wilson:

‘What if he said “I’m gay and I’ve never had any sex with any other man”? What sin did he commit?’

Wilson replied:

‘I don’t believe that homosexual orientation is a sin.’

This reasoning should be obvious as sitting under the ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ line. Wilson’s reasoning seems to come straight from the Bible, specifically Leviticus (20:13) which states:

 “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.”

It is plain that homosexual acts are the problem. This formulation gives the Christian (if they know their Bible) the ‘get out’ clause which allows them to state, no, they do not think ‘being gay’ is a sin.

This is why the fuss made about Tim Farron is missing the point.

Why didn’t Farron immediately state that ‘being gay’ isn’t a sin? Why refuse, four times in an interview, to answer this question using the get-out clause above? It would have ended things right there.

Days later, he says that ‘being gay’ isn’t a sin – something the significantly Christian Douglas Wilson knew straight away.

Why didn’t Farron close the entire line of questioning down immediately by saying the same thing? It was Farron’s refusal to answer which got the press excited. By the time he popped up saying ‘being gay’ isn’t a sin, the hounds have worked out that isn’t the same thing as homosexual acts being sins, which is why the hounds sharpened their question to ask about ‘gay sex’.

And now Farron has been forced to state that he doesn’t think ‘gay sex’ is a sin, when the Christian book states it is. What of Farron’s position now?

Is he lying about his views to avoid being battered by the press as a homophobe? Would a professional politician do that? If he would, what does that say about his Christian convictions?

And the answer to that might be why Farron didn’t immediately play the sin/sinner card to begin with.

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